Thursday, October 30, 2014

Uluru: National Wonder in Australia

If you find yourself Down Under, make it a point to visit one of Australia’s great landmarks - Uluru. Located in the southern part of the Northern Territory of Central Australia, the Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site that represents the country’s rich indigenous culture.

Covering an area of over 2,000 square kilometers, the park got its name from its two major features: Uluru or Ayer’s Rock (a large sandstone rock formation) and  Kata Tjuta or Mount Olga (a group of large domed rock formations).

Uluru is considered a sacred place by the Aboriginal people in the area. It boasts of springs, caves and ancient paintings. Kata Tjuta (which translates as “many heads”)  has a total of 356 domes that cover an area of 21.68 square kilometers. The conglomerate rock domes are held together by sandstone and its highest point is over a thousand meters above sea level. They are believed to be 500 million years old. Kata Tjuta is another sacred place of ancient and powerful knowledge.  

The park is traditionally owned by the Anangu or local indigenous people who believe that their culture has existed since the beginning of time. The domes are landmarks of their supposed interaction with ancestral beings and tell of their  journey across Central Australia. The place is recognized throughout the world for its natural and cultural values.

The park has a large number of rare plants found only in Central Australia. There are also 21 species of native mammals living in the region. Efforts are underway to reintroduce locally extinct animals like the mallee fowl, brushtail possum and the black-footed rock wallaby.

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